Saw this and felt the need to share. Gordie Johnson, one-time front man for Big Sugar and currently leading the Austin-based Grady, is one of my favorites. Innovative, awesome tone, and damn good chops. Big Sugar's first major CD, 500 Pounds, is probably in my Top 10, maybe Top 5, of all time. He works quite a bit with Warren and the Mule (in fact, some of the live stuff they've recorded is deadly). Anyway, I found this interview on www.thinkspecs.com. Gordie gives his explanation of the fantastic tone he achieves. TS: And now for a gear question How do you get some of the wailing, big, catastrophic sound you do from your guitars? GJ: (chuckles) Well THAT is actually something I get asked a lot but it requires a lot of explanation and its funny, ya know I get more gear questions than youd believe. But for me, it aint about the equipment its the lack of equipment that does it. Ive always found that the most uncomplicated signal path between my guitar and the amp is the key. I mean, Matt if you want to hear from the voice of God, you gotta be able to channel it. Mostly too, I use really heavy strings and I have to play a lot harder to get that sound. Im a pretty dirty player. I tend to use amps without distortion because my hands are the distortion my hands are dirty and my playing is pretty crude and progressive. But yeah cleanest signal path is key because all these overtones and signals are pure and the sound regenerates so you have to get in the signal path which is actually a circular path that is constantly looping away from you on a circle. You have to plug yourself into a magnetic field you have to be part of it. I always see all these guys with 9 volt everything and pedal boards and 10 cables between you and your signal theres a lot of cutoff, there. Its gotta be pure. Joel plays his electric like its still an acoustic guitar and I play electric guitar in Grady almost like its a banjo, ya know? I use alot of banjo tunings. The electricity is just incidental.